Hormone Testing Part One

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"You have hormonal acne, I am prescribing birth control."

If this sounds familiar, you're going to want to read this.

"Can we do a hormone panel, to see which hormones are imbalanced, and work towards healing my hormones so the acne will go away?"

"Unfortunately we don't do that here. But I can prescribe you birth control."

I've had this exact conversation with countless doctors and dermatologist over the years. I have had "hormonal acne" since I was about 13 years old and have subsequently been on birth control on and off since then as well. That is, until about two years ago when a medical condition forced me off the pill.

Getting off the pill cause my weight to slowly climb, despite continued healthy diet and exercise. My face flared, despite the great care I give it, and let's not even talk about my time of the month. Poor Caleb, that's all I can say.

All the while, doctors are telling me it's definitely a hormonal issue but my insurance won't cover a full panel hormone test, so I just need to hop on some topicals, birth control, and a low-calorie diet and I should be back to normal in no time. 

Well- it ain't workin' doc.

After my last appointment, I thought, "If they know it's hormonal- why aren't we treating the hormones? Why aren't we testing the hormones and healing me from the inside?" It felt like a band-aide for a really big underlying problem and I just wasn't into the quick fix solutions.

So I decided to find a doctor that would help me get to the root issue. A doctor that could help me heal and prevent future illness. And that doctor was not covered by insurance, which a huge financial bummer. But, I am tired of topical treatments. I am sick from all the quick fixes and pills. I'm ready to actually understand my body and give it what it needs.

If my hormones being unbalanced manifests in acne and weight-gain and cramps and mood swings, maybe when they're balanced they'll manifest in clear skin and joy and steady healthy body. I will never know if I don't try. 

I want to invest in my health, and pursue long-term health from the inside out. And I am lucky enough to have a partner that wants that for me too, so we made it work with our budget and ordered the tests from my doctor. 

My doctor is tall, trim and incredibly enthusiastic about the natural holistic pursuit of medicine. Not in a barefoot-tree-huggin' kind of way. She seems to understand that it is an investment to go this route. To pay for a panel out of pocket and seek to heal with food and supplements where needed costs the everyday woman and she is very assuring that I am making a good investment.

Plus, this woman called me on my junk.

She sat on the other side of her scattered desk, looked me in my eyes after I spill my heart and health journey to her and tells me I care way too much about my weight. That I've dieted my body into shock and there is hope for healing and health, but I will have to chose walk away from mindsets I've created for myself. Shoot. 

What kind of doctor are you seeing?

Anyways, I get the full panel results back in about 2 weeks. I took a small box home and collected saliva (literal gag inserted) in tiny test tubes at certain times in the day, froze it, and sent it to some lab where I assume very brilliant scientists are crowded around the mailbox in white lab coats to defrost my spit and fix my life. 

Don't worry, I will keep y'all updated.